Techcrunch and the Web 2.0 fest -- and the best VCs
Michael Arrington and he crew over at Techcrunch have become the hosts extraordinaire of the Web 2.0 craze here in Silicon Valley.
We first met Michael at the Web 2.0 conference two weeks ago, and he mentioned two or three people were crashing at his place during the conference. Lately, he's started throwing these barbecues at his place in Atherton, and they've become pretty popular. The latest one, to be held tonight, is already jam-packed, and he's had to close the door to more who wanted to crash. Though he's letting 200 people hook up remotely. A Brit wrote in to say he's looking forward to sitting at his PC in the UK, beer in hand and observing the fun (though that means he'll be sipping beer at 4am). Anyway, we plan to go tonight.
We started noticing Arrington's site, TechCrunch, back in July, shortly after it...
launched. As the site explains, "it is a weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing every newly launched web 2.0 business, product and service."
Meanwhile, check out Arrington's blurb on the top five Web 2.0 venture capitalists. It is clearly not scientific, and Arrington concedes it is "blatantly biased" but it does underscore something that we really hadn't thought about before. Web tech developments have moved so quickly over the past year that it is harder and harder for VCs to keep up with it all. They really have to become geeks to get it, and we're seeing different players emerge. Several entrepreneurs have told us that the big guys don't seem to "get it."
Note, for example, that there are no partners from Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital in this list. True, you can ask whether there is really going to be any money made from this latest wave of companies. Arrington ranks Bessemer's David Cowan number one for backing the latest browser company, Flock. But Flock hasn't made a cent yet. And if you include Baidu as part of the reason to rank Tim Draper of DFJ as a leading Web 2.0 investor, then you'd probably have to include the all-time grandslam Google, which arguably has more advanced technology than Baidu. And Google's investors include Kleiner & Sequoia. But are Baidu/Google really Web 2.0 companies? Other shortcomings: Note the absence of any mention of Jeff Nolan, who has invested in Ping, Socialtext and Zend. Nolan really does seem to get it. He has been blogging for a couple of years about this stuff. But methodology aside, Arrington makes some interesting observations, and the post's comments are worth checking out too (for other VC names worth mentioning).
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